MAN-40118 - Contemporary Challenges in Global Business
Lecture Time: See Timetable...
Level: Level 7
Credits: 15
Study Hours: 150
School Office: 01782 733094

Programme/Approved Electives for 2024/25


Available as a Free Standing Elective






Barred Combinations


Description for 2024/25

The module will explore the interrelated aspects of environmental and competitive forces shaping global organisations, including the growing demands for corporate social responsibility and sustainability. Drawing on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, and sustainability theories and concepts, students will engage with and reflect upon some of the global challenges facing business and society. The module will examine how global business can make a positive contribution to society, and help anticipate and better manage challenges to their social, economic and environmental performance by incorporating ethics, innovative and alternative business models, sustainability and social responsibility into their strategic plans.
The focus of this module is global in scope with a particular emphasis on developments in corporate social responsibility and sustainability on the part of businesses based around the world. As such it will expose students to the different ethical, economic and societal issues that businesses have to deal with, provide a sense of the complexity involved in socially responsible decision-making, and encourage students to develop an understanding of the issues sufficiently well to allow them to identify their own position on these matters. The seminars will engage students with critical inquiry, using questions as a tool to explore concepts and issues covered in the module. This will allow them to acquire and evidence critical thinking and analysis, while also bringing in their own experiences as citizens to that discussion and inquiry.
Key underpinnings:
Research informed teaching ┐ the teaching will be informed by the lecturer┐s own research featured in academic journals related to the discipline area. Students will be expected to engage in action research, studying the wider society around them.
Internationalisation ┐ students will identify and appreciate the global challenges faced by business and society, while taking a global perspective in their critical review process.
Sustainability ┐ developing an understanding how sustainability can be integrated into global strategic planning, students will appreciate how new approaches to global business can contribute to both the business case (profits) and a more sustainable world.
External engagement ┐ students will be expected to actively engage with the external and digital world, to include engaging with visiting guest expert speakers; reviewing quality social media and journalism stories, and academic blogs.
Ethics and Corporate Responsibility ┐ as a module underpinned by the theme of globalization, corporate social responsibility and sustainability, there is an embedded commitment to understanding ethical and responsible decision making.

Sustainability and sustainable development are in the foreground of contemporary challenges facing global business in the 2020s. The aim of the module is to develop intellectual skills and deeper understanding of the challenges associated with a transition to more sustainable systems of consumption and production.
Students will gain understanding of the complex issues surrounding development towards social responsibility and environmental sustainability. Students will work as teams and develop innovative strategies that balance conflicting needs and consequences, recognising wider considerations and using creativity to overcome barriers to change. Students learn a practical, holistic, approach to tackling problems that applies the fundamental principles of sustainable development; requires both the development of close team collaboration, research skills and critical analysis of information.

Talis Aspire Reading List
Any reading lists will be provided by the start of the course.

Intended Learning Outcomes

Demonstrate understanding of the challenges associated with implementing changes for sustainable development: 1,2
Explain how organisations interact with society and the environment, locally and globally, in the context of corporate social and environmental responsibility: 1,2
Undertake a holistic and systemic approach to investigating complex, "messy" open-ended problems: 1,2
Apply a framework to employ problem solving skills in examining complex, multi-criteria, issues that incorporate uncertainty and conflicts of interest: 1,2
Apply and develop self-directed learning and information literacy skills: 1
Demonstrate skills in communicating ideas and making arguments in writing and verbally: 1,2
Work collaboratively in teams, contributing to the development of effective team dynamics and project management processes:

Study hours

20 hours scheduled learning and teaching (interactive lecture sessions)
40 hours lecture preparation
90 hours preparation of assessment and private study

School Rules

Module barred combination: Opportunities and Challenges in Contemporary Management (MAN-40112)

Description of Module Assessment

1: Presentation weighted 30%
10 minute group presentation
The group presentation puts student teams in the scenario of being a sustainability team working within a company of their choice. Teams are required to develop a concept for a project that addresses challenges associated with sustainable development. Student teams will be given a concept for a project. In the space of one week, the team will be tasked to: 1. Think creatively about what the concept could be about and to develop it into one or more of the following: a. new product/service b. new way of making a product/delivering a service c. new business model for a product/service d. new way of consuming a product/service 2. Follow a process to evaluate your project and to think about the wider implications of your project. 3. Pitch the project to the class and take questions from two academics experienced in sustainable innovation. Presentations are scored. All students in the group score the same.

2: Report weighted 70%
2000 word Individual report
Students must submit an individual 2000 word report on the following three-part question. 1. Introduce a product and discuss its sustainability impacts. 2. Explain why improving the sustainability performance of the product would improve the competitiveness of the company. 3. Consider how innovation may be brought to bear to improve the sustainability performance of the product, and how potential trade offs and tensions might be managed.